They say time flies but I had no idea how much until I began to look back to 10 March 2016 when I published my debut novel, Climbing the Coconut Tree.
My writing journey began two years earlier when I was inspired to write a fictionalised account of a double murder which occurred on a little-known place called Ocean Island. You can read more about how it started here.
What is Climbing the Coconut Tree about?
Set in 1948, eighteen-year-old Bluey Guthrie leaves his family in Australia to take the job of a lifetime on a remote island in the Central Pacific. Bill and Isobel, seasoned ex-pats help Bluey fit in to a privileged world of parties, dances and sport.
However, the underbelly of island life soon draws him in. Bluey struggles to understand the horrors left behind after the Japanese occupation, the rising fear of communism, and the appalling conditions of the Native and Chinese workers. All this is overseen by the white colonial power brutalising the land for Phosphate: the new gold.
Isobel has her own demons and watches as Bill battles to keep growing unrest at bay. Drinking and gambling are rife. As racial tensions spill over causing a trail of violence, bloodshed and murder, Bluey is forced to face the most difficult choices of his life.
I’m proud of my debut and in the years since, I’ve written and published three more books.
A sweeping tale of love and loss, an old man’s suppressed memories resurface after a stroke. He finally confronts what happened when, as a ten-year-old, he was forced at gunpoint to leave his family and trek barefoot through the mountains to escape the Greek Civil War in 1948.
We’re finally out of lockdown mark 6 in Melbourne and after three straight months I’m emerging into a social life and a little retail therapy.
It might look like I’ve spent my days reading and reviewing other people’s books, but in between I’ve been slowly and methodically and sometimes haphazardly writing another historical fiction novel.
It’s taken a little over three years and any writer will tell you that it’s hard work even with a pandemic to distract in between.
The cover was done by the brilliant, Anthony Guardabascio from Continue , and doesn’t it pack a punch of vibrant colour?
About The Good Child:
The Good Child is a compelling story of two very different women: 72-year-old Lucille, with a hidden tragic past, and 30-year-old Quin, whose ambitions lost her everything.
Everyone hates Lucille for what her son Tom, did and she can’t blame them. He’ll probably go to jail. She’s to blame too — she ignored all of his faults — perhaps even encouraged them. She never wanted him in the first place. But that wasn’t her first mistake. She’d ignored her grandmother’s warning that if she married the man she loved, her life would be a disaster. She was right too.
Now Lucille’s on a train with no money and no home. All she’s left with is a blind overprotective love for her son, but even that is now pushed to the brink as she comes to terms with her actions and those of Tom’s.
Quin worked for Tom and knows exactly what he’s done because she helped him do it – she turned a blind eye to the corners he cut and the lies he told. Now, she’s lost everything and it’s her own fault. She wants revenge.
Then she meets Lucille on the train and finds herself facing her past and her future.
Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Good Child is a powerful novel of emotional and financial resilience, loss and unexpected friendship.
It’s been two years since I launched my last book, A Perfect Stone and I’ve been very humbled by all the great feedback. To celebrate, and for those who love eBooks, A Perfect Stone has been heavily discounted until the end of the month at $ 0.99c atAmazon
Overview: Living alone, eighty-year-old Jim Philips potters in his garden feeding his magpies. He doesn’t think much of his nosy neighbours or telemarketers. All he wants to do is live in peace.
Cleaning out a box belonging to his late wife, he finds something which triggers the memories of a childhood he’s hidden, not just from his overprotective middle-aged daughter, Helen, but from himself. When Jim has a stroke and begins speaking another language, Helen is shocked to find out her father is not who she thinks he is.
Jim’s suppressed memories surface in the most unimaginable way when he finally confronts what happened when, as a ten-year-old, he was forced at gunpoint to leave his family and trek barefoot through the mountains to escape the Greek Civil War in 1948.
A Perfect Stone is a sweeping tale of survival, loss and love.
PraiseFrom Readers ***** “It is a story of loss and survival interspersed with the history of a war I knew little about. Highly recommended.” ***** “This is a fictional story but based on actual events, and the author wastes not a word in evoking sympathy for those most vulnerable members of society, without ever becoming maudlin.” ***** “A Perfect Stone is a moving story of childhood and old age set against the traumatic experiences of child refugees during the Greek Civil War.” ***** “I liked the switch in timelines and really enjoyed the writing. I was thoroughly immersed and couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended.”
This book has captured my imagination. Definitely one for my TBR. Check out the fantastic review by Therese Smith below and see if you think so too.
The Last Migration… About the Book: A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive. How far you would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica. As animal populations […]